March 24th, 2017
Let’s start simple. Today, on average, we will spend a third of our day consuming content. That is more than eight hours! This is something people want and are motivated to do – not shop.
This poses a serious problem for us marketers, our primary objective is to get people to buy products. So what did we do? We began to push banners, pre-rolls, pop-ups, you name it – anything and everything to try to interfere, and interrupt and get users to shop.
There’s no doubt that marketers see the potential ‘content marketing’ can have. In fact, 22% of performance marketers cited ‘content marketing’ as the activity with the greatest economic impact throughout 2016. The second runner-up, Big Data, only came in at 17%. (Smart Insights, Feb 2016)
After seeing performance marketers practice ‘content marketing’ and fail, there’s still a lot to learn in order to succeed in using ‘content marketing’ to gain business traction. Here are just a few key insights that you can still apply.
Sequence Your Content
Is the main goal of a marketing campaign to convey a story? The story doesn’t start at the bottom of the customer’s purchase journey, instead it’s the grouping of stories that get you there.
Take a minute to visualise your customer’s journey and where they are located within the traditional funnel. Each step they go through has a separate story that fits that stage and different KPIs to measure and optimise against. You need to make sure that you communicate your story in the right sequence so that the messages don’t get jumbled and you achieve maximum impact.
For example at the very top of the funnel you would use very general content, for example, a basic infographic to get their initial interest and by the bottom of the funnel use very targeted content that is unique for the customer.
Make Audience Segments With The Right Content
Clearly, not all customers are the same, therefore their interest and preferences can vary. With content, it’s quite easy and cost-effective to recognise and catalogue customers with a dedicated piece of content and funnel them into the correct segment. Once you have correctly built segments, re-engaging them is much easier, now with the knowledge of their interests and how they react to certain content.
Create a Content Strategy
Like any other marketing plan, it all begins with the customer. Once you identify your target market you can think about the right time, channel, and location to deliver your message. Once your strategy is in place creating comprehensive and appropriate content gets much simpler.
Re-engage Audience Segments with Content
Once your audience is settled into the right place, it’s much easier to re-engage with those who failed to convert. An increasing amount of major platforms now allow the use of first-party data, which enables you to get in front of your audience in a much smarter way. One such leading product is Outbrain Custom Audiences which allows you to target re-engagement of the following :
- Visitors who browsed your homepage
- Visitors who signed up for your newsletter
- Visitors who learned about your products
- Visitors who went to the purchase funnel but never completed it
- Past customers that you’d like to re-engage
And while we know retargeting is not a fresh technique, we’ll bet that not all of you are doing it with your content marketing.
Don’t be a Jerk
It might seem blunt but you know what we’re talking about. Your customers are smarter than you think and know what they want. They can easily tell the contrast between content that gives them value versus content that’s just trying to get their money. Make sure you appreciate them and present content that gives them value.
Approaching your content marketing with the view that your customers are simply numbers will never work long term, so don’t try to fool them.
Acknowledge that content marketing is a field that is almost moving at lightspeed and as such requires a lot of financing, education and crucially, trial and error. It demands that you change your established strategy and re-imagine the consumer path. Overall, don’t push customers, try to pull and make sure you connect with the customer at each stage of the funnel.
So there you have it, that’s 6 tips that cover all stages one might go through when they are undertaking content marketing. Employ some of these pointers in your own campaign and you’re sure to see an uplift in your results.
So what did you guys think of these tips, we love to hear your feedback and always love to spark discussion. If you wanted some more information on the complicated world of content marketing or wanted to work with us yourself you can check out our Marketing Strategy page here.